I made a search of “man” at a to-be-unnamed online quilt company, one that is associated with a to-be-unnamed online major retailer- because I have men, who want quilts, in my life, and because I am desperate to find them the perfect quilt pattern before I take round blade (blades in quilting are round- did you know that?) to fabric.
I thought of the usual stereotypical things, simple, squares, triangles, maybe fewer flowers and more right angles… but what I got was something else.
In my life I have found myself, on more than one occasion, encountering discrimination against men as a response to feminism. We are women. We are strong. You cant be any-more, it seems. This is a world where men are relegated to “manly” fabrics, just as much as girls are relegated to “girly” fabrics.
If you are a man, you are a cartoon loving, camouflage wearing, alcoholic with an ironic sense of facial hair. You own and therefore must decorate with images of neckties and golf clubs. Your primary hobby is transportation. Black and brown are the only colors in your pallet and being shirtless is mandatory.
Look I know guys who fit the bill. I dated the guys who fit the bill. But who you are should be so much more complex than three pages of search results. I did the same for “girl” and what do you know- a large variety (10+ pages) of results, including many careers, sport teams, and colors. Of course there was a definite pink lean to the whole situation, but it makes me wonder.
What will become of the man, if we oppress him? What will become of the boy watches us oppress his future?
There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the lego ad of 1981, and the affect of the “pink girl” ideal. (Check out this awesome article for more on that http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/little-girl-1981-lego-ad-grown-shes-got-something-say/). But I want to know how we are affecting the future of men- when violence, darkness, isolation, and self-ostracation (hipsters, anyone?) lead the images.
Before you comment about the great white male privileged- I understand the history and consequences associated with specific groups (genders, races, nationalities, whatever the case may be) having dominion over others. That is the precise reason why I am concerned. If we raise concerns for feminism above all males at any cost, and we project a minor ideal of masculinity for young men to emulate we build a world where men find themselves where women were a hundred years ago.
This leads me to think that we build a disservice for all youth by projecting these minuscule ideals without a larger understanding of the generalities. And it also makes me wonder- how
the hell am I supposed to make a manly quilt which actually reflects a real life genuine human American male specimen?
PS- I get that I was looking for a “man” quilt pattern and therefor put myself in this position.